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2017 Fall EH Courses

Literature Course Descriptions

EH 165: Poverty and the American Dream (or “American Inequality”) (ES)

Ashe, TTH 9:30-10:50

America has tended to view itself as a society without deep divisions of social class, a “land of

opportunity” where everyone is given an equal opportunity for success. Even now, as economic

inequality has become a major part of the national discussion, most people tend to be overlook

the role of socio-economic class in everything from educational opportunities to what they buy

or watch or listen to. In her book Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich claims that “some odd

optical property of our highly polarized and unequal society makes the poor almost invisible to

their economic superiors” (216). This course will mix literary depictions with economic,

sociological, and journalistic discussion—along with hands-on service work with Birmingham

city high school students—to try to make poverty and the class underpinnings of society visible

to incoming freshmen.

EH 210-A: Introduction to Fiction—

Everyone’s a Storyteller

Archer, MW 12:30-1:50

Storytelling was crucial to the development of human beings as a species. Early human beings

used storytelling to pass on their culture, spread the news, and gather in groups for entertainment.

Storytelling plays an important role in our own prehistory as individuals. Parents and other adults

read us storybooks and pass on family and lore cautionary tales. We ourselves are storytellers as

we recount our day to friends.

In Introduction to Fiction, EH 210A, we will read fiction that does some or all of these things.

Stories will include classics, contemporary fiction, and even graphic fiction. We will also read

one novel.

The primary intent of this course is to make reading fiction enjoyable. Of course, you will write

two short papers (there is that) and take two exams. But class experience depends on student

opinion and your honest response to the readings.

EH 210-B: Introduction to Fiction

Ullrich, TTH 9:30-10:50

This course is designed to introduce the student to the study of short fiction and the novel at the

college level. The primary goals of the course are (1) to introduce the student to the pleasures

and rigors of sophisticated literary analysis, (2) to develop the skills necessary to appreciate

literature, (3) to participate in the class discussion by voicing thoughtful, informed opinions.

Regular attendance and class participation are required. Typically, this course does not require a

lot of reading, just one, or perhaps two, short stories per class. But students MUST read each